Downtimes and You- A Guide to Downtiming in Five Oaths

The downtime system allows characters to take actions in the world between events. This guide will show you how to avoid some common errors.

Before You Downtime: Player Database

If you want to transfer items to another player you’ll also need to use the player database on the website where you created your character. Just open the ‘Inventory’ tab in your Character record, and you can send items, materials, and money to any other Alive character. Transfers will remain open until downtimes close. Transfers may reopen before the next event if there’s enough time to do so after all downtimes have been processed.

You can spend your XP on a new feat at any time, but if you’re buying a feat that you you’ll need for your downtime (e.g. any crafting skill), you’ll want to do this before you downtime

I like to keep the player database open in another tab when I’m doing my downtime anyway. You can use it to check whether you can do the action you want in the location your character is in or whether you have the right ingredients for a crafting action. Having the rulebook handy is also helpful for checking crafting recipes

The Downtime Form

Downtimes will be submitted using a form provided by the Event Team. You can find this form on our website www.fiveoaths.com, and we’ll also send a link out via our mailing list. This post/email will also tell you what the deadline for submitting the form is. Every character gets 4 actions per downtime

1. Name

Enter your characters name exactly as it is in the player database.

2: Starting Location and Travel

Where your downtime takes place matters because not every action is possible in every location. 

Most errors we see in downtimes come from people choosing the wrong location for the actions they want to take or not specifying a clear location. For the purposes of a downtime, a Location can either be: a) a Settlement, for example Crag Oscionn in Draíod or Dealtra in Bruid; b) a Riding, for example Dhaloch in Baol or Glorbuaife in Uasa; or c) a Region, for example the Golden Valley in Siabhal. If you say that you want to go to a Realm e.g. Bruid, but don’t specify a place within it, this is not a valid location and makes it difficult for us to process your downtime.

There are also some actions where the result depends on what location you do it in; if you want to scout a location, you have to be in that location. If you want to research something using a scholar skill or pointed questions, the information you get will depend on where you ask. If you want to look for lore relating to a creature that lives in the deep caverns of Draíod, you’ll usually get more relevant information by looking in the performing the research action in Crag Oscionn than in a settlement that allows the research action in another realm.

Characters start their downtime in the location the last event took place in. The form will tell you about this location and what actions are available there, for example:

Preab’s Bay is the strait between the eastern coast of Siabhal and the Shaper’s Steps, the islands that lie to the northeast of Tirneach. Many ships take advantage of the shelter offered by the Steps and use Preab’s Bay when sailing from the Cank around to the Blind Coast.

(Analyze;  Gather; Research and Scout actions are available here. All Crafting, Guard, and Mediate actions are not available here.)

If you can’t take the action you want to take or you want to move somewhere you’ll find more relevant answers to your questions, have a look at the Known Locations’ tab on your character sheet in the player database. Each location will have a description similar to the one above. Then select the Travel action on the form and specify that you’re going to that location. Make sure this location allows all the actions you’re planning to take there. Unless you have the “Quick Exit” feat, this will consume one of your actions.

You don’t have to make travel your first action, In the example above you could analyse an item, travel to a location that allows the guard and mediate actions and then guard/mediate twice. You can even travel more than once, but this is very unlikely to be a good use of your actions.

3. Other Actions and Common Mistakes

Teach Location and Learn Location

These are new actions introduced in the most recent rules update. These actions allow one character with a Location on their known locations list to add that location to the known locations list of one or more characters who don’t have it

For this to work the character who knows the location (teacher) and the characters who are learning the location (students)  must start in the same location. The Teacher must select the Teach Location action and list the names of the student characters. The students select the Learn Location action and give the name of the Teacher character. After this action all characters will be at the target location as if they had taken the Travel action.

Analyse – Select a non-standard item and learn how to make it 

Following the most recent rules change, this requires a relevant Crafting Feat rather than a scholar feat. To analyse a potion or poison requires journeyman alchemist, to analyse an arcanist item requires journeyman arcanist, and to analyse armour or weapons requires the journeyman blacksmith feat.

Craft – Make an item using the correct ingredients (Requires Crafting Feats or Careful Maintenance).

The most common mistake with this action is not making sure you have the correct ingredients to make your chosen crafting recipe. Check your inventory on the player database and your crafting recipes in the Appendices of the Player’s Handbook: https://fiveoaths.com/wordpress/rules/ 

Another common mistake is only saying you wish to craft one instance of a consumable when you mean to craft three. 

If you are using a feat that allows you to craft an item for something other than its normal recipe (eg. Ingenious Craft) please specify what ingredients you are in fact using as it will make processing your downtime much easier, and avoid the risk of us taking ingredients you were saving for something else.

Gather – Gather a number of a specific ingredient equal to the number of relevant Professions Feats you have (Requires Professions Feats)

The most common mistake that people make with this skill is attempting to gather an ingredient that they don’t have the right profession feat to gather. The types of material that each profession may gather are listed below:

Profession FeatTypeIngredients
ArtisanProcessedglass, ink, incense, parchment, wax
FarmerPlantbark, flower, leaf, root, seed
HunterAnimalbone, dung, fang, heart, pelt
MinerMetalbronze, copper, gold, iron, silver

Research – Ask a specific question (Requires relevant Scholar, Crafting or the Pointed Questions Feat).

Common pitfalls:

  • Attempting to use the research skill when you don’t have a relevant feat

If you’re using pointed questions you must have both the local informants feat and the pointed questions feat

If you’re using a crafting feat you must have at least Apprentice level

  • Using a feat that isn’t relevant for what you’re asking about
FeatWhat it’s for
Five Realms LoreHistory, geography, general knowledge
Religion LoreReligion, the Shaper, heresies
Magic LoreMetaphysics, the elements, ritual theory
Local Informants & Pointed QuestionsCurrent affairs, local politics, crime
Apprentice BlacksmithWeapons and armour*
Apprentice AlchemistPotions and poisons*
Apprentice ArcanistMagical items*

* It’s important to note that the crafting skills do not allow you to research new crafting recipes. It’s more useful for questions like “What are the known alchemical uses of <insert herb> that <insert antagonist> is trying to acquire in large quantities” or “Can the construction or component materials in this dagger tell us anything about where it was made?”. The research uses of these skills are intentionally much narrower than those of scholar skills because they come with the ability to craft and scholar skills don’t

Often it’s possible to research a topic or plot from multiple different angles. For example if you were investigating a heretical cult in Siabhal, using religion lore might tell you about the cult’s beliefs and motivations and why the church has branded them a heresy, five realms lore might tell you that this cult first arose 50 years ago and apparently rise again every 10 years or so to commit a seemingly senseless murder spree, while local informants (Siabhal) and pointed questions could tell you that there are rumours swirling within the ruby court about members of a certain rider’s family being involved.

  • Using research when you’d be better off scouting

If you want to look something up, it’s research using a lore or crafting skill. If you’re asking around an area, it’s pointed questions. If you’re going to an area looking for bandit camps or swarms of giant wasps, you’re probably scouting

  • Asking more than one question, or not asking a question at all

We only allow one question, so think carefully about what you want to ask. If you ask more than one question, we’ll only answer the first in the interests of fairness for other players and preventing burnout for the event team.

Similarly “I want to find out everything about (subject)” Is not a valid research action, we need a specific question to ensure that your response is feasible for us to write on a tight deadline, and relevant to what you want to know. 

It may be helpful to know (particularly if you’ve ever played with the sort of adversarial GM that treats player questions like a devious genie treats wishes) that the plot team really wants to give you information that will help you engage with plot. If investigating your question should reasonably allow you to stumble onto information about a plot, we’ll give you the information or let you know where you can find it. It may also be helpful to know that we don’t necessarily know what your character has found out about, so being specific about what you’re asking gives us an idea about what you want to know

Scout – Gather information about threats or military activity in a particular region or riding

  • Scouting will only give you information about the specific information you’re scouting in
  • Scouting will only get you information on the threats in a location. If you’re looking for information about current events that might be gained from talking to people in the area, try using local informants and pointed questions, if you’re looking for information on the history or geography of the area, try researching it with five realms lore
  • It does not matter which of your actions (1, 2,3, or 4) you use to scout an area, you will get the same information
  • If you scout the same location multiple times in the same downtime period, you will not get any additional information

The following actions are pretty simple and very few people make mistakes with them other than trying them in invalid locations:

Guard – Stand guard at a small settlement and receive 10 pingin (Can not be taken by Peacesworn).

Mediate – Spend some time at a small settlement and solve disputes and offer counsel, receive 10 pingin (Peacesworn only).

Connection Action – Special actions granted by lammies. If you have a lammie that allows you to take this kind of action, the instructions for how to do so are on the lammie.